The Walking Dead, Episode 1: Killing Your Loved Ones

by on Mar.22, 2011, under Syndicated from the Web

Would You Kill Your Loved One?

So, after the first episode of The Walking Dead the other night (an episode that I had very few quibbles with), I was curious about Lennie’s struggle to shoot his zombie wife. I wondered, as he was blowing away zombies to the left and right of her, “Why doesn’t he just drop her?” Then I thought about it, could I drop my wife? Or my son? Or my daughter? (I’ve certainly wanted to drop each one of them at some aggravating point or another while they have been annoyingly alive–how hard could it be when their faces are eaten off?). I think I could do it, but I don’t know. I asked my son, who also watched the episode– what did he think?

He said, “I think I could but then I don’t know maybe I couldn’t.”

I guess he’s as wishy-washy with patricide, matricide, and fratricide as I am. I said if and when it comes down to it, the top of your head is flying off. My son’s fraternity brother then assailed us with his impeccable logic:

“Here’s my logic: I don’t want to remember my family or friends as zombies who are walking around eating other people. It’s just like a rabid dog; sure you had some good times, but at the end of the day you are doing him and yourself a favor…cause once the dog goes mental or your family goes zombie, they won’t hesitate themselves to eat your face. I’m not saying that there wouldn’t be any hesitation, but I’d definitely end up doing it.”

I had to agree. Following this unsentimental logic, I added:

“I think its an issue of timing. If its early in the apocalypse, I might would give you a pass for not really understanding what’s going on and being emotionally wrecked, but if you’ve been around long enough to be able to recite the Romero rules to newcomers and have been actively putting them down in the street like Lennie, then there is really no excuse for hesitating–and in fact, you would become a liability and would be subject to being dropped yourself for putting others at risk. I do think it would be hard to machete my wife’s head off or stick a screwdriver through my son’s eye–but Lennie had a rifle with a scope! How impersonal is THAT?”

My son disagreed about the impersonality of the rifle scope. He said:

“I’d like to venture and say that a sniper scope is actually VERY personal. That’s the reason Lennie couldn’t do it. He was so close he could see her eyes looking directly back at him in the scope. With the scope you are basically face-to-face with the person and can see every gory detail when that bullet makes their head go all kablooey. Really the only good thing to do in case of the apocalypse is just grow a pair of balls and do it, forcing yourself to become desensitized to shooting things right between the eyes.”

Yikes. I have a feeling my son has grown his pair and might even have shells with my name on it. I replied:

“Well, I can certainly see that point. Still, a scope/rifle provides physical distance and a less-intimate, less messy for the shooter kill than a hand to hand combat kill. With physical distance in place, emotional distance can be worked on–a feat I would find more difficult if your brain jelly was smeared all over my cheek or my wife’s neck tendons were snarled in the zipper of my Goretex jacket.”

Ultimately, Lennie, in order to save his son Duane and himself, will have to drop his wife I would think. I think it is unconscionable as a father to continue to allow the mother to torment his son by sniffing around the front door. Your wife lives on in your memories–but what’s standing on the front porch is dead. And dangerous.

It’s over, man. Drop her.

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